Cabezas and Morelli Lead Cubs to Victory at Fitch Park

Yaniel Cabezas had four hits (three doubles and a single), scored three runs, and drove-in two more, Jesus Morelli drove-in four runs with two singles and a home run, and four pitchers combined to strike out 14, as a split squad of EXST Cubs drubbed the EXST Angels 13-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #2 in Mesa.

Prior to the game on Field #2, Angel Guzman and Dustin Fitzgerald faced-off in a two-inning “sim game” on Field #3.

While one squad of EXST Cubs was playing the EXST Angels at Fitch Park, the other squad traveled up the 101 Freeway to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick to play the EXST Rockies. However, I have no information about that game.

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Larry Suarez has been promoted to Peoria (Suarez was used as a closer in his last couple of outings at EXST), and OF Ty Wright (sprained ankle) completed his rehab assignment and was assigned to AAA Iowa yesterday as the roster replacement for OF Lou Montanez, who had been called-up from Iowa by the Cubs on Tuesday to replace the injured Marlon Byrd (15-day DL - multiple facial fractures).

Here is the abridged box score from today's game at Fitch Park Field #2 (Cubs players only)

1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 2-4 (HBP, 4-6-3 DP, 3B, 6-3, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
2. Augie Ojeda, 2B: 1-3 (5-3, 1B, 4-3, BB, F-7 SF, R, RBI)
3. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 4-5 (2B, K, 2B, 2B, 1B, 3 R, 2 RBI)
4. Jesus Morelli, LF: 3-5 (F-9, 6-4-3 DP, 1B, 1B, HR, R, 4 RBI)
5. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-5 (K, K, F-8, K, 6-3)
6. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 1-4 (F-7, 5-2 FC, 4-3, 1B)
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 2-4 (1B, F-8, K, 1B, R)
8. Blair Springfield, DH: 2-4 (1B, 2B, BB, F-8, 9-6 FC, 2 R)
9a. Max Kwan, 1B: 2-3 (1B, BB, FC+E1, 1B, 3 R, RBI)
9b. Carlos Romero, PH: 0-1 (F-9 DP)

1. Matt Loosen: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 6 K, 55 pitches (39 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
2. Hector Mayora: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Jin-Young Kim: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 61 pitches (34 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
4. Luis Villalba: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 12 pitches (8 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO

3B Gregori Gonzalez - E5 (dropped pop fly in foul territory extending AB for hitter who then doubled and eventually scored unearned run)

Yaniel Cabezas 1-2 CS


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’s



Justin Berg was historically wild last night...

"Are we in Des Moines?"



Per Gameday, Berg did get squeezed on a couple of the pitches, including ball four on the 2nd batter he faced. The "gimme" call definitely wasn't on for him last night.

Based on the video highlights, that was a shitty showing by berg, but yes, at least 4 or 5 of them could have been called strikes.

1st fuku homer...may 26th.

tied w/ ramirez...

casey coleman pinch hitting...ha.

Kerry Wood should have been allowed to hit there, that way Coleman won't get hurt doing something he's not used to doing... or something.

Kerry even hit a few hr's in his career.

berg isn't showing up on the bullpen chart, btw.

hopefully he'll be back in AAA before it matters.

The Cubs have traded for 35 yr old retread pitcher Rodrigo Lopez.

The Cubs sent Class-A Daytona left-hander Ryan Buchter to Atlanta.

Hendry says Lopez is a swing guy who might start, perhaps taking Coleman's place, but it's not determined yet.

Berg sent down.

lopez - neat
berg down - double neat

When did they pick up Ramon Ortiz? I hadn't heard that... Is he in Iowa?
EDIT - Ah, way back in the beginning of April. Not like he is going to fix all their problems, but he is at least another option at AAA...

April 10th or so. The best thing you can say about his stay in Iowa is that he's not walking many guys.

unlike coleman, for instance...

Former Cubs 1st round pick Ryan Harvey released by Boston after unsuccessful attempt to convert to pitcher.

Cubs or media compared him to Dale Murphy right after he was drafted. I remember that at the time and thinking how stupid it is to put even more expectations on a kid than just being a high 1st rounder.

Zambrano left park right after game to see the team doctor about a stiff neck.

Doctor's advice ph in meaningless games and call me in the morning.

Campana straightens his hat after teammates gave him a hard time about it.



Hayden Simpson with 7 K's through 5, Greg Maddux watching from the dugout apparently

Done after 5IP, 1R, 0ER, 2H, 1BB, 7K
Nice line

Is this just a routine visit by Maddux?

today in overreaction theater...

"Baseball should be protecting the catcher like football protects the quarterback," McCarver said.

"Obviously, you can make a case that a catcher in baseball is not as important as quarterback in football. But I'm not sure about that. There is a dearth of good catching coming into the game."

and then former catcher Mike Scioscia pissed all over McCarver's ideas which is awesome.

I'm all for banning guys from launching themselves at the catcher if it also comes with catchers not being allowed to block home plate, but can only straddle the plate.

Mccarver is an idiot.
Scioscia blocked home on homeruns

posey goes down...the world stops.

last year brett hayes (FLA) goes down and it's "aww, shucks...that's baseball."'s not like runners don't get injured trying to avoid or take out an armored wall of a player dug into the dirt.

It was a very awkward play on Posey's part. He doesn't make the catch and he isn't set up on his toes as catcher normally would. As you can see in the picture on Fox page that Rob links to, he's on his knees with his left toe pointing out, which effectively locks his ankle. When he gets rotated backward, the ankle can't bend, which leads to the injury. I don't think this is the play that proves the rule needs to be changed.

RIP Bulls.

Great, great year. Got further than I ever thought.

Just need more talent + this sour experience.

Bulls get outscored 18-3 down the stretch. I should be used to this kind of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory stuff. Now we can look forward to an NBA work stoppage for next year.

Zambrano claiming kneck soreness due to sleeping on it awkwardly while watching tv.

...and while chatting with his brother on the internet.

He's the Jose Cardenal of our generation.

I'm sure Joe Pepitone and VA Phil can share the stories.

I was sure it was because of pinch hitting.

If Quade thinks speed and high average (but not OBP) are requirements for batting third - should Zambrano be the #3 hitter when he plays?


very droll

1. Fukudome, RF 2. Barney, 2B 3. Castro, SS 4. Ramirez, 3B 5. Pena, 1B 6. Soriano, LF 7. Campana, CF 8. Hill, C 9. Davis, P


1. Tabata, LF 2. Pearce, 3B 3. McCutchen, CF 4. Walker, 2B 5. Diaz, RF 6. Snyder, C 7. Overbay, 1B 8. Cedeno, SS 9. Correia, P

Battle of the FA First Basement

Lyle Overbay, Pirates, $5MM contract, one year
.235 .298 .364

Carlos Pena, Cubs
.215 .361 .370, $10MM contract, one year

Muskat says Cubs DFA'd Coello today to put Lopez on 40-man. Could have put Cashner on 60-day DL if they wanted...

I'm wondering what happened to Coello. It looks like his arm fell off. He went from a low WHIP minor league strike out machine to a guy who can't get anyone out this year.

i have a feeling he'll still be a Cub next week.

"We've been scouring, looking for people like this," Hendry said. [in reference to lopez]

there are so few of them to be found, after all...

Exactly. If our GM needs almost two months to find a very mediocre at best journeyman pitcher, maybe he's in the wrong line of business.

At least he didn't give up another third of the farm system for him.

Yes, because Lopez is clearly as good as Garza, and trading 3 prospects and Sam Fuld decimated our farm system. Especially with how Archer has been tearing it up.

Stats aren't always the best judge for value of minor league pitchers, particularly 22 year olds.

Lee and Guyer are having pretty good seasons statistically (or did you just ignore that because it didn't fit your comment)?

More importantly, there are lots of players we could trade prospects to get. The Garza trade has gotten us to be 8 games out of first place on Memorial Day while losing 4 of our top 20 prospects. Do you think that is a good trade?

garza isn't a team. garza cost 6m for a 10-12m pitcher. garza has 3 years of club control.

whether you think the trade should have been made or not, he wasn't going to be given away.

chris archer, a no-power (but young) SS, and spare parts...all expendable or replaceable in the system aside from the SS that's years away.

archer was worth something for all of a few months. while he still has value it looks like he was sold "high" at this point. his walks and lack of being able to go deep doesn't surprise me, but all the hits he's giving up does surprise me a bit.

hell, at this point it seems the most useful part to them any time soon might be brandon guyer.

also...does anyone know what the cubs forgotten piece, zach rosscup, is up to? he hasn't pitched in over a week.

Clowns. All of 'em.

multiple errors already...

I was sort of disapointed to see that going into the game the Cubs were fractions of a decimal point behind the Astros for worst fielding percentage in MLB... problem solved.

maybe hendry didn't hire sandberg as a favor to him...

still just can't seem to stay w/ those bucs...

When a team has got a $40 million payroll, you can't really expect to compete with them on a day-in, day-out basis... You just hope that when they take the division you're able to sneak in to a wild card spot.

From Len via Rob Neyer:

The three pitchers who have subbed for the injured Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner -- the trio of Casey Coleman, James Russell, and lately Davis -- have combined to go 2-11 with an 8.04 ERA in 16 starts.

gee, when you put it that way, lopez comes off like the biggest mid-season mound acquisition since sutcliffe...

The New Optimism: Maybe our Hits total can exceed our Errors Total.

...yet another group of people singing the 7th who have no business doing it and don't have the respect for what they're being asked to do (in exchange for pimping their whatever) to actually do it right.

end the 7th stretch song, already...or just have the booth do it...or keep all the guests baseball related, at least.

wow...they didn't stick around for the 1/2 inning in the booth. okay, i can live with that.

Who was it?

it was some band who won some "battle of the bands" type contest thing...and some old lady with them. i'm not really sure what was going on, but i was sure i was in for 1/2 inning of not hearing baseball being talked about after the old lady stumbled through the song.

instead i got a 1/2 inning of cubs continuing to suck today. neat.

via paul sulivan...and no, i don't get it...

"PWSullivan Paul Sullivan
Cubs run out of 7th inning stretch singers, so they invite Wally's grandma."

Re 7th inning band - hate to say it but w/out those folks, the place would have been even emptier.

The upper deck was more sparse than any Memorial Holiday weekend than I have seen in 10 years.

It is so pitiful now...

end it!!!

nice clean up hitter

Recent comments

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  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.